"Courageous care partners recharge with self-care, striving for peaceful pinnacles
in patience, persistence, and positive 
changes, knowing when to conquer and when to comfort."

A hidden illness . . . but not for the person who has it. . . but you look so good!

Mar 25, 2020 by Eileen Adler

A hidden illness . . . but not for the person who has it. . . but you look so good! “Just for the record darling, not all positive changes feel positive in the beginning,” advises S.C. Lourie, a writer and dance teacher, living in the outskirts of London.

Before you read another word, please know that this is an overview.

When in doubt, seek professional help.


Chronic disease is a burden worldwide. Effective treatments and education must be made available to all who suffer, acknowledging that one of these chronic illnesses, diabetes, is approaching an epidemic level in our country. Diabetes is the disease of my family and I’ve been able to control my diabetes with diet, exercise, and keeping my weight in check.

There is no outward sign that you have the disease, but it may be there all the same. Diabetes is diagnosed with a blood test. Diabetes is separated into different categories: Type 1, Type 2, and pre-diabetes when your blood glucose levels are higher than normal but have not reached the pure definition of the disease. With intervention, a pre-diabetic condition might never become diabetes. Another abnormal diabetic condition occurs during pregnancy, this is called gestational diabetes and is usually resolved with the birth of the baby.


As a care partner, stress may be part of the regimen whether we want to admit it or not and stress can inhibit effective glucose control. If your body is unable to convert the glucose into energy, it builds up in the bloodstream. This constant stress wears you and your body out making the disease more challenging to control. Stress can present itself in several ways including headaches, pain, overly fatigued, general blah, just not feeling well, feeling apathetic, and some of these overlap with diabetes symptoms, including increased thirst, frequent urination, extreme hunger, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, irritability, blurred vision, sores that take longer to heal along with other skin infections. Knowing your reality will ease some of the worry and lessen the stress. But remember, we are doing the best that we can; please be kind to yourself. C. S. Laurie explains: “Some days I am a goddess, some days I am a wild child, And some days I am a fragile mess. Most days I am a bit of all three. But every day I am here trying,” which I relate to. 

Why me? What are my risk factors? This disease tends to run in families so your family history may predispose you to this disease. There are other more discrete identifiers as well so do ask to be evaluated if you are not feeling well and are presenting with some of the afore mentioned symptoms. Being overweight can predispose you to this disease simply because your body has more fatty tissue and then becomes more resistant to insulin. Being inactive can be a contributing factor as well; motion is lotion! Race, age, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, both types of fat that are carried through the bloodstream should be kept within the normal range. 

Why not me? Because I can do this! This is my positive change! First and foremost, eat a healthy diet including foods that are lower in fats and calories and keep yourself well hydrated. Get into the habit of healthy eating because losing as little as seven percent of your total weight is helpful. Exercise helps but select an exercise program that you enjoy and will stick with. Please consult with your medical team regarding medications that could assist you through your journey.   


Self-care Ritual: More of S. C. Lourie’s inspiration 

Learn everything you can. There is a great deal of information on the internet: 

Mayo Clinic


Diabetes Food Hub

Medical News Today

November is diabetes month so plan to be evaluated between now and then. If you are diabetic, look for conferences and support groups that will help you along your journey to good health.